Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cacao Art at Williams Sonoma

We have always loved Williams Sonoma. There you can find cool cooking gadgets (avocado cuber? pineapple slicer AND dicer in one? who doesn’t need at least two of those?), a great selection of cook books and Star Wars cookie cuter o pancake molds. Also, they hand out warm spiced cider in wintertime. Seriously, Williams Sonoma FTW.

That’s why we were so happy that Cacao Art was asked to participate at the first Artisans’ Market being held at their location in The Falls shopping mall. The Market provides a great showcase opportunity for small vendors. It just doesn’t hurt to have your name alongside a recognized brand like Williams Sonoma.

The Entrance of the Williams Sonoma store at The Falls

The entrance to the Williams Sonoma store at The Falls the day of the Market

The Market was held on June 29th, a Saturday. The other participants were Contenti Cupcakes, PepperJelly Co, Pika Sauce, Cilla’s Treats and Laurie’s Pantry.

Our table looked great and we were excited to be there. There were plenty of customers coming up to us and we felt the experience was a great success. Cacao Art will be back at the August Artisans’ Market. Hope to see you there!

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Table full of chocolate goodies!

 

 

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News from the International Chocolate Awards

It has been a hectic couple of weeks at Cacao Art Chocolates! But now I have finally sat down to write a new blogpost, so it better be a good one…

And it is: we are official finalists of the 2013 International Chocolate Awards, Americas Round! This is very exciting news and we’re almost inordinately proud. Here’s the story on how we entered.

Cacao Art follow several different blogs and Twitter accounts about chocolate and chocolatiers, of course, and try to keep up-to-date with all chocolate news. That is how we first read about the International Chocolate Awards. These awards are fairly new, but they have attracted a lot of attention from chocolatiers and chocolate experts worldwide. Chocolates El Rey, the bean-to-bar manufacturer we love and use every day, won last year for their creamy and sweet white chocolate bar. We congratulated them at the time in this post.

So, in a moment of nervous inspiration, we decided to throw our name in the ring. We went through our selection of chocolates and decided on the Gingerbread and Honey Cardamom bonbons as the best contenders, the first one for its warm, inviting notes and the second for its trendiness and sophistication. We set to work in making this particular batch of bonbons as perfect as possible. The tempering was focused and precise, the ganaches were painstakingly calibrated, the decorations ceremoniously done atop each individual bonbon. We used gorgeous organic Tupelo Honey from Florida for a hint of distinction and upped the spices to really make them pop.

For decorations, we brought in a little outside help: Susi painting each bonbon

For decorations, we brought in a little outside help: Susi painting each bonbon

The results: creamy, flavorful centers with a thin casing that were picture ready. We packed them in a big box with lots of insulation and sent them on their way.

Off they go!

Off they go!

Now we had to wait. But the digitalized, hyper-sharing, social media world we now inhabit gave us a glimpse of the judging process. People involved with the Awards tweeted and commented on the chocolates they sampled and we learned some new things (like the fact that judges some times eat unseasoned creamy polenta to cleanse their palates between tastes). Of course, judges don’t know who made the chocolates they were tasting, but it was fun to see pictures and think: “hey, maybe that was ours!”.

Although we tried not to get our hopes up (there were some 400 entries in the competition, after all), we were still thinking about our little bonbons out there on their own in the big bad world. So, we followed the news and finally got the call: we’re finalists! They haven’t told us yet if we are up for a Grand Jury award, but for our first time as competitors, we’re feeling pretty good right about now. *collective Cacao Art pat on the back*

 

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